The onset of election season has set off alarm bells ringing on both sides of the fence.
The onset of election season has set off alarm bells ringing on both sides of the fence. While the Bharatiya Janata Party under the leadership of Narendra Modi faces a potent threat of being dislodged from power in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, the Opposition is still struggling to stitch together an alliance and pick a leader who can be the face of the anti-BJP campaign. While the jostling for majority is bound to set political temperatures soaring, the political war of words between the two sides has already stooped to a new low.
Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment as Congress general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh sparked a fresh political slugfest between the grand old party and BJP. While the BJP’s attacks have been limited to targetting the Gandhi family, its leaders do not appear to be holding back.
In a controversial statement, a BJP leader called Priyanka Gandhi “a very beautiful face”, who did not have any political achievement. “Votes can’t be won on basis of beautiful faces. Moreover, she is the wife of Robert Vadra who is accused of involvement in land scam and several corruption cases. She is very beautiful but other than that she holds no political achievement,” Vinod Narayan Jha, a BJP leader from Bihar, was quoted as saying by ANI. The remarks have been termed as sexist and uncalled for and Congress leaders have slammed the BJP leader for being anti-women.
But before the Congress could take a high moral ground, one of its own leaders made a personal attack on PM Modi that left the BJP fuming. Congress leader Rashid Alvi once again dragged PM Narendra Modi’s mother into the political slugfest. Criticising Modi, Alvi charged Modi of mistreating his own mother.
“Our prime minister, Narendra Modi, lives lavishly in a mansion. His mother, however, lives in a 10×10 room. He doesn’t have a place for her in his large mansion.” Speaking to India Today, the Congress leader refused to apologise for his statement. Alvi’s personal attacks against Modi are not new. A few years ago, Alvi and Smriti Irani indulged in a public bickering after the former cited Google to say that Modi was “the world’s most stupid Prime Minister”.
In a dramatic turn of event on Wednesday, the Congress named Priyanka Gandhi as Party general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh with Jyotiraditya Scindia given responsibility by the party for western part of the state. Soon after the announcement, BJP had slammed the move calling it dynasty politics. “The Congress has basically publicly announced that Rahul Gandhi has failed and needs crutches from within the family. Because of his rejection by grand alliance parties, he has opted for a family alliance,” he had said.
The state of Uttar Pradesh will play a crucial role in upcoming elections with 80 seats up for grabs. With Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announcing an alliance the state will see three-way elections for upcoming Parliamentary polls. Last time, BJP won 73 Lok Sabha seats from the state.
Poll dates are expected to be announced in the first week of March.